US Patent and Trademark Office Reviews

Updated August 23, 2015
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3.2
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Teresa Stanek Rea
30 Ratings

Pros
  • All the benefits of a federal job with job security and super flexible schedules (you can work from home full time) (in 27 reviews)

  • flexible work schedule allows for family friendly atmosphere, working from home is great (in 19 reviews)

Cons
  • Has to meet production requirement (in 8 reviews)

  • Challenging production requirements (in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

155 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (3)

    Decent job

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Alexandria, VA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Alexandria, VA
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at US Patent and Trademark Office (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good people and great office and location, nice balance, generally a positive environment.

    Cons

    Work can get very repetitive, and have to be comfortable working alone without much interaction.

    Advice to Management

    Organize weekly or biweekly team meetings or strategy sessions, recap anything interesting from the week they worked on, keep it a little more lively.


  2. Helpful (4)

    Good if you want the benefits and can tolerate the work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Patent Examiner in Alexandria, VA
    Current Employee - Patent Examiner in Alexandria, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at US Patent and Trademark Office full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good compensation Objective merit based advancements and rewards Good work schedule flexibility Opportunities for telwork

    Cons

    Monotonous highly procedural work and the work volume is high Work is solitary in nature and tends to be isolating Work experience is highly dependent on supervisor and art unit Considerable turn over prior to the GS-14 level It's not a good match for most people and I would not recommend it as an occupation to any of my friends or acquaintances.


  3. Helpful (2)

    PTO not for everyone

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Patent Examiner in Alexandria, VA
    Former Employee - Patent Examiner in Alexandria, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at US Patent and Trademark Office full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great flexibility in time, lots of non work activities to get involved in

    Cons

    count system is not fair for new employees there are no breaks, management only cares about your numbers nothing else, can terminate you anytime in your first year without any warning

    Advice to Management

    Be more honest with examiners if there not going to make it just tell them don't jerk them around


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  5. Helpful (4)

    It's not as good as it looks....

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Patent Examiner in Alexandria, VA
    Current Employee - Patent Examiner in Alexandria, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at US Patent and Trademark Office full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Dress flexibility, few meetings, and job security

    Cons

    Minimum interaction with people, Alexandria, VA is a expensive place to live have to commute, have to wait to long to teleworking if you can reach production level, ridiculous production requirements, working long hours including weekends, tedious work for engineers. Came here from a good company in the private sector because all the good things some people says but it's not what it seems. My best advice to anyone is if you don't have anything to loose you can try it otherwise DON'T leave a good work and be at risk the first year to get fired because didn't meet production requirements people this is not easy for some groups specially when your supervisor is not supportive. The attrition ratio is more that 50% NEVER seen something like this in my life and I'm sure this is unique in the federal government!

    Advice to Management

    Lower production requirements not necessarily because some people do it everyone can do it, this is an error to think this way, change first year training approach more practice than theory, lower teleworking requirements.


  6. Best Office Job Benefits

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Intern - Anonymous Intern in Alexandria, VA
    Current Intern - Anonymous Intern in Alexandria, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at US Patent and Trademark Office as an intern

    Pros

    Relatively relaxing job with the best flexibility for hours I have ever seen. You can choose to work whenever you want. Alexandria is a great area to work in. The ability to telework is also fantastic. Work life balance is the best there is.

    Cons

    Production based work can be stressful when you are falling behind. The major issue I have its that the nature of the work can quickly become repetitive and boring. Wouldn't reccomend for younger people coming out of college. Though I will most likely apply when I'm settled and have a family. Working at home is fantastic.


  7. LOVE it....so thankful!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Design Patent Examiner in Alexandria, VA
    Current Employee - Design Patent Examiner in Alexandria, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at US Patent and Trademark Office full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    highly flexible work schedule, great area (Old Town) to work in, optional FULLTIME work from home at GS12, great pay, rewarded via bonuses for hard work, overtime additional to salary, great job for those of us who thrive in independent work environments

    Cons

    share an office for first several yrs, getting a good trainer early on decides your fate, type of work/meeting quotas can be stressful


  8. Helpful (4)

    Pros & Cons

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Junior Patent Examiner in Alexandria, VA
    Current Employee - Junior Patent Examiner in Alexandria, VA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at US Patent and Trademark Office full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Amazingly flexible work schedule, great benefits, great pay, the ability to work from home full time in a relatively short amount of time after starting work.

    Cons

    Depending on the luck of the draw and what art unit they send you to, you might have an extremely small chance of making it through your probationary year.

    Advice to Management

    See if any SPEs just can't seem to make new examiner's 'stick'. I've heard some horror stories..


  9. Helpful (3)

    Can be a great job, but can also be a terrible job. It all depends on your supervisor...

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Patent Examiner in Alexandria, VA
    Current Employee - Patent Examiner in Alexandria, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at US Patent and Trademark Office full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Campus is nice. Benefits are good. Having a flexible schedule is great, as is the potential to work from home full time IF you make it to GS-12...

    Cons

    In the first year as an examiner, the art unit you are placed in and the manager you are assigned to will completely determine how successful you will be and if you will be retained or not. Your ability to do the work and your effort does not matter nearly as much as if you are lucky enough to have a good supervisor. A bad supervisor will make this job miserable and nearly impossible, and there are many, many bad supervisors here. You will most likely be threatened with the possibility of not being retained in order to get you to do more work. It's not an empty threat. The only positive feedback I received my entire first year was from attorneys who told me my office actions were well written. DO NOT be enticed by the "accelerated promotion" they tell you about when you get a job offer. Very few examiners are able to get it as it is extremely difficult to meet production requirements when you first start and are in training. You will most likely have to do a lot of voluntary overtime at first to meet your production requirement. The job can be great if you're lucky enough to be in a good art unit and with a good supervisor, just be aware of the risk before you accept the job!

    Advice to Management

    Supervisors should be required to have law degrees. Management needs to stop using fear as a motivator to get examiners to do more work.


  10. One of the best jobs I ever had

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Accountant in Alexandria, VA
    Former Employee - Accountant in Alexandria, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at US Patent and Trademark Office (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    It's a government agency that ran more like a business. Mostly down-to-earth people. Worked with a great group of people. Work kept you busy but not stressed out. Felt appreciated and was applicably rewarded. 4/10 compressed schedules offered. Right on Metrorail. Lots of good restaurants and stores within walking distance for lunch/after work activities.

    Cons

    None, none, none, none, none!

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work!


  11. you have to be orginagied and diciplined

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Patent Examinernt in Alexandria, VA
    Current Employee - Patent Examinernt in Alexandria, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at US Patent and Trademark Office full-time

    Pros

    you have a very flixable schedule as long as you have good production. you don't have to compete for promotion upto GS-14. you will be able to get some small bonuses easily as long as you are organized and maintaining you production and DM score over 110% for a fiscal year. you also can work from home if you are in GS-12 level or avove. your are your own boss, you share your room with one office mate as a junior examiner, and if you don't even want to say hi to him/her it is fine.you are kind of your own boss no one comes to bother you.

    Cons

    you have to be very organized, have to plan everything ahead of the bi-week. you always have to worry about your count per bi-week. now a days, you have to worry about yur quality a lot, make sure your prior art is anolagus, otherwise you might need to reopen it. you might be in truoble for promotion (espically for GS- 11 to GS-12, most espically in TC 2400 )if you don't maintain your quality.



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